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Current Members of our Hall of Fame

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Four former athletes of Valley and Waterloo Public Schools will be inducted into the newly formed DC West Athletic Hall of Fame.  The honorees are:

John “Barney” Barnhill - Valley High School – Class of 1956

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction 2016


John “Barney” Barnhill was known by countless current and past students, parents, and community members as a coach and great supporter of Valley and Douglas County West High School athletics. However, many may not have known that Barney was a tremendous athlete in his own right. As a Valley Terrier, he earned eleven total letters; three in football, four in basketball, and four in tennis.  In general, his coaches described him as a very competitive, hard working, and team oriented athlete.

John was named 1st Team All Ak-Sar-Ben Conference as a quarterback and punter for the Terrier football team. His teammates described him as a tough runner with good quickness and a great arm. During his senior season of basketball, John broke the previously held single season school scoring record by scoring 283 points during the 1955-56 season.  However, John’s greatest success came on the tennis court. He led the Valley Terriers to the 1956 state team championship and was also the Class B singles champion that year.

After high school, John went to work at Western Electric (later Lucent Electric) for 30 years. He also served on the Valley School Board for 24 years and was a volunteer coach for the football and wrestling teams for over 50 years. Barney received the Nebraska Assistant Football Coach of the Year Award after the 1998 season.

Former Douglas County West Head Football and Wrestling coach Brant Loewe stated, “For over 50 years, Barney WAS Valley and DC West Football and Wrestling. It was a rare occasion when Barney was not at practice helping out with anything he could. From getting drills set up to coaching fundamentals, he was always there helping kids. His dedication and commitment to the football and wrestling programs spread across generations of Valley and DC West alum and will never be forgotten.” John was admired by staff and students alike. 2014 DC West Graduate Ty Heinert stated, “I was fortunate enough to have Coach Barney in high school wrestling and football. He loved coaching and all of the athletes. All of us knew and felt what a selfless, giving, and man-of-character he was. I am a direct result of what Coach offered and am now pursuing a degree in education and coaching in hopes that one day, I can have the same kind of impact on kids that he had on me.”

Unfortunately, John “Barney” Barnhill passed away in the spring of 2014. His family will receive this Hall of Fame honor on his behalf. Please welcome John “Barney” Barnhill to the Douglas County West Athletic Hall of Fame.


Mark Schellen - Waterloo High School – Class of 1979

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction 2016


Mark Schellen is the most well-known and highly decorated athlete to ever graduate from Waterloo High School. As an athletic standout in high school, Mark earned four letters in football, three in basketball, three in track, and two in wrestling.

In the power-lifting arena, Mark was a ten-time state champion, four-time national champion, and two-time world champion. As a track athlete, Mark qualified for the state track meet twice during his high school career. He also was named all-conference in basketball and scored 22 points in a game against Yutan his senior season.

Mark was certainly a very talented multi-sport athlete, but football is the sport for which he is most well-known.  He was named all-conference all four years of high school and also received All-Omaha Area and All-State recognition after his senior season.  During the 1978 football season, Mark rushed for over 200 yards for four games in a row. After high school, Mark walked on at the University of Nebraska under legendary college football coach, Tom Osborne. As a Husker fullback, Mark was a devastating lead blocker for Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier. His most memorable football memory was playing for the National Championship in the 1984 Orange Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes. 

After a great Husker career, Mark went on to play football professionally, first for the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL and then for the San Diego Chargers of the NFL. After his professional football career, Mark started a fitness and strength training business in his hometown of Waterloo and has been doing it for 32 years.

Mark and his first wife, Lynne (deceased), had three children; Jennifer, Matt, and Maggie. He now has five grandchildren; Mattix, Noah, Reese, Tate, and Quinn. Mark and his wife Denise currently reside in his hometown of Waterloo, Nebraska.

Please welcome Mark Schellen to Valley, Nebraska and into the Douglas County West Athletic Hall Fame!


Mike Cunningham - Waterloo High School – Class of 1965

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction 2016


Mike Cunningham was a tremendous multi-sport athlete for Waterloo High School in the mid-1960s. He earned ten letters while participating in football, basketball, track, and baseball.  Mike describes his participation in high school athletics as, “A tremendous experience that had a lasting impact on me as an individual.”

The 1964-65 school year was very successful for Waterloo Panther sports. Mike Cunningham played a major role in that success. He was a four-year starter at quarterback for the football team; during his senior year, the Panthers reached a state ranking of #4. As a baseball pitcher and third baseman, he was known to have a strong arm with a lethal bat.  He was also a strong contender on the track team where he ran the mile throughout his high school career.

Although Mike was a standout athlete in all sports, the basketball court was where his talents shined the brightest.  While at Waterloo, Mike played for Nebraska High School Hall of Fame coach, Jim “Killer” Kane. Coach Kane knew that he had an outstanding shooter in Mike and created a system that allowed him to use his quickness to score in every way possible. Mike still holds the career record for scoring at Waterloo High School with1642 career points. Mike is also currently 10th all time in the state of Nebraska for points scored in a game with 59. This is especially impressive since Mike set these scoring records before the 3-point line was implemented in high school basketball. When asked about his high school basketball career, Mike said, “I enjoyed playing with my teammates and working hard for my coaches. I would hope that my teammates would remember me as someone who would always do what was best for the team.”

Mike and his wife Linda currently reside in Fremont, Nebraska and have one son, Joey, and three grandchildren.

Please welcome Waterloo great, Mike Cunningham, to the Douglas County West Athletic Hall of Fame.


Rick Hayden - Valley High School – Class of 1975

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction 2016


Rick Hayden was an outstanding athlete for the Valley Terriers in the mid-1970s. He lettered twice in football and three times in basketball in his high school career.  However, basketball was his passion and the exploits of Rick and his teammates during the 1974-75 season were truly outstanding.

During Rick’s junior year, the basketball team finished with a 5-14 record. At the conclusion of that season, Rick and his teammates made a pact to make their senior season great. With that in mind, the team played basketball year-around in preparation for their senior season. As they had planned, the Terrier basketball team turned things completely around and finished the 1974-75 season with a 14-8 record.  Rick was an outstanding scorer in high school. He earned 1st Team All Conference honors and made the Lincoln Journal Star’s All State Basketball Team his senior year. He also held the Valley High School Basketball records for points in a game (48), free throws made in a game (14), consecutive free throws made (24), and free throw percentage for a season (84%). 

Even with all of the individual honors Rick received, his favorite high school basketball memories revolve around his team and teammates.  Rick stated, “I hope the guys on my team would remember me as a good teammate. We were very close friends and it felt great to have some success together.” Rick’s other great basketball memory was highlighted by senior teammate Ken Argintean’s 24 rebounds against Gretna in the second game of their senior year. Valley beat Gretna that night in double overtime. Gretna had beaten Valley badly twice during the previous season. “Coach Seawards made the game fun for us,” described Rick. “We were undersized and played an up-tempo style which allowed us to reach our potential. He got a lot out of us.”

After high school, Rick went on to marry his high school sweetheart, Laurie and they have been married for 39 years.  He and Laurie have three adult children; Amy (Peyton) Lewis, Jill (Adam) Lamprecht, Chad (Megan) Hayden, and 7 grandchildren.  He currently owns and operates Rick’s Meats retail meat market in Elkhorn.

Please welcome back to Valley and Douglas County West High School, Hall of Famer, Rick Hayden!


The pencil drawings attached to the article were created by Devin Hall.